Old Barns, Cowboy Hats and Other Imperfect Things

I sigh at the sight of
an old barn all alone
in the middle of
a field somewhere weatherworn
slate gray
standing the test of time
still proud as a silver-haired
grandparent holding
their head high

though boards are warped
roof’s swaybacked
they yet hold dignity
nestling owls and
doves within their exposed
ribcage rafters

they hold to life
they remember
they refuse to be forgotten
and boldly show their
character

also cowboy hats
with tattered edges
dusty creases and pinches
tipped back
reminiscent of a
tired drover under a tree
with stories to tell
watermarked by rainstorms
beat-up a bit by hail
and life’s lessons

yes
creaking front porch steps
the patina on
family photos in
aged albums
dogeared Bible pages

or a gold wedding band
never removed
worn thin
slightly misshaped
that yet gleams.

Yes, All Theses Things I’m Grateful For.

I love the summer scents and more,
When all things blossom with fanfare.
Yes, all these things I’m grateful for.

Summer’s always had much in-store
For playful minds and sans footwear.
I love the summer scents and more.

The sun showers with petrichor
Prompts all to take deep breaths of air.
Yes, all these things I’m grateful for.

Even a thunderous downpour
With lightning bolts that awe and scare!
I love the summer scents and more.

Fishing a calm lake from the shore
Are my best memories I swear.
Yes, all these things I’m grateful for.

Squirt guns, ice-cold sodas galore,
Fourth of July with bang and flare.
I love the summer scents and more.

The slam of our old house screen door,
Picking a fresh apple or pear,
Yes, all these things I’m grateful for.

T-shirts, jean shorts flip-flop’s we wore,
At lightning bugs in jars, we’d stare.
I love the summer scents and more;
Yes, all theses things I’m grateful for.

In Your Embrace, is Where I Need to Be

In your embrace, is where I need to be,
Where I can run to when life’s tempests blow.
Your loving arms are a haven for me.

When you touch my face, deep down you can see
I need a comforting place I can go.
In your embrace, is where I need to be.

You’re a type of therapy, with no fee
As you tilt your head, sympathy you show.
Your loving arms are a haven for me.

It’s like a hot summer under a tree,
You’re able to cool me, somehow you know,
In your embrace, is where I need to be.

You never judge and your patience is key,
Little by little you’ve helped my faith grow.
Your loving arms are a haven for me.

I take comfort in the union of ‘we,’
We’re like saplings entwined near fresh spring flow.
In your embrace, is where I need to be.
Your loving arms are a haven for me.

When the Poitín Fairy Comes a Calling

When the poitín fairy comes a calling
After someone’s gotten thoroughly locked,
It’s on the floor they may have been sprawling.

Mostly it’s, Culchies that end up crawling,
Singing loud to her like thick eejits, crocked
When the poitín fairy comes a calling.

Some hug the jacks and next day are bawling,
With head a spinning they feel they’ve been socked!
It’s on the floor they may have been sprawling.

They may recall brief moments of squalling
Or retching in doorways as their mates mocked,
When the poitín fairy comes a calling.

There’re those sporting bruises after brawling,
Proudly displayed as their workmates are shocked.
It’s on the floor they may have been sprawling.

Some, meet the Guards who end up a hauling
And to the van, they are seen drug or walked.
When the poitín fairy comes a calling,
It’s on the floor they may have been sprawling.

A Lone Frost Covered Rose One Spoke to Me

It was something of beauty, yet quite sad
That I happened upon one late fall day,
There it hung horrified crystalline clad;
A hoar frosted rose with petals a-splay.

The birches and pines trees all seemed to mourn
As frigid north winds without mercy blew,
And yet spiting the cold were its sharp thorn;
As leaves all around in vortices flew.

I sensed it was saying, “Don’t grieve for me,
For though splendor has gone, spirit does cling,
Come back here again in six months and see,
Wonderous rebirth come glorious spring!”

A lamenting refrain blows through the trees,
As I dream of June, and fat bumblebees.

She Lived at the Edge of a Park

 

Where gangly oaks clasped hands
like praying settlers claiming
new land, where spring and summer
played like best of mates
amongst sacred verdure and
moss scented paths

this vermillion-haired sprite
lounged on a golden silk tapestry
in hunter green grass, sipping
Rosé Moscato, smoking
French cigarettes in ivory and
silver opera length holder

with dark sunglasses
in the blinking shadows of those oaks
but with intermittent sun dancing and teasing
around her, prompting
her muse

and she wrote poetry, villanelles and
sonnets mostly, counting syllables
on her alabaster fingers

sometime she would lie back in
her seafoam taffeta gown, singing to
robins and larks, blowing
smoke rings with pouty cherry
painted lips and
kick a crimson slipper
into the air.

Sipping Pinot Noir at Sunset

 

 

 

A shooting star elicits
our sated sighs
piercing kaffre blue veil
the twinkling
beyond
holds us mesmerized

sandalwood scent lingers with wisps
of sage and mesquite
swirling over a crackling fire
so close, we feel
each other’s heartbeat

sharing a wool blanket
with you, is my
prayerful moment
my intoxication, my
soulful melding

a coyote howls in the distance and
it seems almost cliché
as we smile
sipping Pinot Noir
at sunset.

Cicada Cantata:1969

 

 
Decades later I still hear their whine
the drone of short lives crying to the universe
an entrancing fanfare that
held me for hours

I yet feel the rough bark of that black walnut tree
as I climbed barefooted to a ruling perch
neither I or the Cicadas cared that July’s anger
brewed above

distant, muted lightning flashes cast an ambience
as I stared into the miasma settled
like a cat on a branch

I was a modern-day Huck Fin with much to reckon
considering the years ahead, a postulating
idealist who spoke my mind
to the heavens

I drank it in with the thirst of a desert wayfarer and despite
the thunderclaps with hissing waves of rain;
the Cicadas and I marveled.

Awed at the Turning and Bright Harvest Moon

 
I would pluck feted strings, if I knew how
And dance like a whirling Dervish at dawn,
In awe of golden crisp leaves, I avow!
It’s autumn to which my spirit is drawn.
Calico daydreams and worsted wool coats,
Sage-like aroma that garners my soul,
Whispering winds that sing magical notes
As I engage in a leisurely stroll.
There is something ancient about it all,
Regal and beautiful tugging heart strings
As greenery bows to rusted brown sprawl;
I welcome the change and all that it brings.
I’ll walk by the lake, in hopes to hear Loon
Awed at the turning and bright harvest moon.

Beowulf’s Last stand and Valhalla Did Sing

 

For fifty winters, king Beowulf did reign
With sage-like wisdom no one could contest,
He was a lion with silvery mane,
With heroic heart beating in his chest.

Lo, piercing his peace, a dragon did roar!
To challenge Beowulf for one last great fray
And without a blink, just as in folklore
He yelled, “Foul beast, your bowels I shall splay!”

Beowulf raged like a boar ready to charge!
In polished armor with sword razor keen,
He set off to dispatch this beast at large,
Leaving his solemn and beloved queen.

In dead of night, with a sliver of moon
Beowulf with cunning did stalk this hell spawn,
Through burned-out villages with bodies strewn,
He stealthily searched until crack of dawn.

As the sun rose and shown bright in his face
The beast suddenly swooped low to attack!
The warrior king then sidestepped with grace
Yelling, “Bring your best you damned daft throwback!”

The dragon wailed and swooped high in the sky,
Mounting his horse, Beowulf made for a dell,
He could hear the dragon give a shrilled cry
As Beowulf loosed a wild berserker yell!

Beowulf rode hard for a rocky ravine,
He could hear the ‘swoosh’ of the dragon’s wings
He turned with a hand gesture most obscene,
And yelled some rather unsavory things.

“Come on, you bastard, you son of a whore,
Swoop low with your foul fiery furnace breath!
For I yet have fight and a good bit more!
There’s naught that I fear as I welcome death!”

The dragon strafed Beowulf’s retreat with fire!
Which was Beowulf’s plan, for such place he knew,
This ravine narrowed which he saw prior,
Thus was his trap to draw his foe into.

By taunting the beast, Beowulf drew him in
Standing on horse at full gallop with sword,
Beowulf road on at full force with a grin,
To either victory, or his reward.

The dragon obliged careening quite low,
This time, his belly scraped rocky ditch face,
With his sword held high he landed the blow!
And for a moment, Beowulf felt such grace.

Time seemed to slow as the beast’s entrails burst
Out of its abdomen bathing the king,
It seems they both in this case fared the worst
As well, through armor, Beowulf felt great sting.

The Dragon’s barbed tail had pierced Beowulf through
At the last moment as Beowulf did cleave,
With smile on his face, that seemed to imbue,
Valhalla called, and this world he did leave.

At dawn, arrows lit a funeral pyre,
That foul dragon’s head was displayed for years,
Many swear you can hear Valhalla’s choir
And warriors toasting Beowulf with cheers.

 

Transitions

 

 

 

 

 

 

i

My first real green recollection of
Spring was toddling across
fresh-cut grass, a bee was buzzing
round bright yellow peonies,
wavering in a breeze
in the may sun.

ii

I’m a young boy, fishing
with father, middle May,
on muddy-brown river bank,
gray-blue catfish are thrashing,
mouths agape, silvery dragonflies
dart amongst cattails, gleaming
rust-colored worms squirm
in a can, I gaze, as dad,
impales one on a hook.

iii

Five miles I walked that May,
all of nineteen, to an Army recruiter
disgusted with life, wild-eyed,
red-faced angry, wanting more.
An orange Robin in a tree
greeted me, returning home,
mom, pale-rose blushed, knew
where I had been.

vi

I see it, a fresh-cut lawn, roses pining,
May, bowing to June, my brow
deeply furrowed, liver spots on backs
of my hands, sipping ice-tea,
counting syllables on fingers,
coaxing my muse to give an
old man, a poetic break.

In Our Golden Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our golden years we shall sing aloud,
spiting aches and pains we will have no fears,
we will carry on crying happy tears;
in our own world we will float on a cloud.

In our golden years we will show them all,
we will showcase romance on new frontiers,
crooning away like two old balladeers;
though silvered with age I will yet enthrall.

In our golden years our love will not wane,
we will venture on like wild cavaliers
till the sun goes down and the moon appears;
dancing away we will ignore the pain.

And if the light in my eyes disappears,
I’ll still whisper sweet nothings in your ears.